Any old Label with do



One of the things that sociopaths and psychopaths do is mirror people perfectly. They have the uncanny ability to keep up a mask but eventually it will start to slip and the real personality starts shining through. In the meantime however they will have no problem pretending to be or have something they are not whether its pretending to be a high flying corporate executive of a non existent company, having a fake illness like cancer or even having a personality disorder that doesn't belong to them. After all who would ever willingly advertise that they were a psychopath? a person with no conscience who is willing to con and manipulate anyone.  Because if they did we would all avoid them.


Recently I was having a discussion about labels psychopaths and sociopaths use to get themselves off the hook. I have changed their names to protect their identity.

Woman A had come to me for some coaching and has been back and forth having a relationship with what appears to be a sociopath. He spends much of his out of work, on drugs and has multiple relationships. When it suits him he goes back and forth to woman A and is very nice to her (for a while) and then disappears off for days eventually finding an excuse to have an argument so he can leave again. Recently she found out he has been having yet another affair and so the game continues. After his first prison stint he told woman A the reason he is unable to control his behaviour is because in the past (he has a history of violence) is because he was diagnosed as schizophrenic however during the short time I observed him he never appear to show any signs of schizophrenia.   In the meantime she continues to try and understand his confusing behaviour. He is a complete flirt and loves the attention of other women, he also has children by different women. He uses the pity play and comes up with a number of sob stories as to why he cant work citing schizophrenia as an excuse not to ever have to get himself a job.


I met him briefly for a coffee after a reconciliation with her.  On first meeting he appeared to be very charming and charismatic and we were talking about Attention Deficit Disorder which I have and within minutes of chatting he was telling me that he had ADD too. There was no mention of having schizophrenia until much later.  I thought this was strange as an adult who has ADD myself.   I have the Hyperactive/Impulsive-type which means I tend to work long hours and choose jobs that are highly active and stimulating.  In fact I was surprised to find on further research that most males have this type of ADD whereas this man has never worked for the last few years. In my humble opinion he was just making stuff up to try and impress me and in fact he left his girlfriend the week after despite putting on a very good show of being such a nice misunderstood person.


Although I am not a psychotherapist and couldn't possibly diagnose him I'll explain my reasons for giving the above example and a few more later in this article.


Woman B on the other hand was recently discussing a close friend who is married to a man who is a serial womaniser. He holds down a regular job but has what she describes “a bit on the side”. He his highly charismatic and has quite a few “bits on the side”. Other close friends have started to question his behaviour and lack of remorse or guilt over his actions. In his words “he knows exactly what he is doing” and doesn't feel any shame. Recently he's been running out of excuses so told one of his friends that one of the things that makes him do what he does is a little voice in his head. He said he thinks he might have schizophrenia and much as he wife doesn't like the fact that he's playing away she's trying to be more understanding because she wants to understand his mental illness. Of course this man has never even been to see a psychiatrist.


Now lets move onto Woman C. Woman C contacted me recently after being done for nearly 1 million pounds. I wrote an article here.  Her psychopathic ex had borrowed a few tips on how to con and manipulate from the book “The man with a rockerfeller suit”.  Conveniently he had used the “I am bi-polar” excuse a couple of years earlier after conning a nice old lady out of nearly £70,000 had already been given the label “bi-polar” by a psychiastrist. George Simon talks about the importance of diagnosing people properly if they are psychopaths as many are given this label inappropriately. What was most interesting in this woman's case is her abuser appeared to show no remorse or guilt whatsoever for what he had done. I have a few friends who are bi polar and none would go out to intentionally manipulate and con people even in their most manic episodes. If anything they are likely to harm themselves rather than others.


The problem with psychopaths is that very often they will run out of excuses for their bad behaviour and try to come up with what they see in their minds as a plausible excuse when someone is on to them. Its no different from them making up a story about having cancer or any other lies they decide to make up. Often a psychopath will say things like “I don't know why I did this”. One thing is for certain a psychopath knows exactly why they do everything. Their sole modus operandi is to con and exploit which is why its so important they are given the right label or diagnosis in the first place and not one that makes them appear more palatable to the outside world.


When I first started to expose my ex he spend many months coming up with a long drawn up explanation for his behaviour and knew I was reading up on different disorders. He decided that the best label that would suit him was “passive aggressive” and said he was going to spent the next few months working on his behaviour. He was so convincing he even managed to convince our therapist at the time, who is the head of one of the local colleges that teaches psychotherapy, that he was a “nice” guy and that if anything at all he was on the submissive side. Our therapist suggested with a bit of work from me that we could make the relationship work even though he knew at the time that my ex was still with his wife. Nothing could have been further from the truth!


The problem is they are so good at masking their true identity. Only recently a colleague finally tracked her psychopathic ex down who had failed to pay maintenance for over 3 years and had reinvented themselves. He has had no contact with his children for over 3 years and her therapist is in no doubt he is a psychopath with malignant narcissist.  When she contacted the authorities and told them what he was like during the marraige they were astonished and said he was a nice man who had shown exemplary behaviour. This is a man that had led his first wife to kill herself and taken all her money.


Psychopaths love to play on our ability to see the good in everyone and will use any old sob story they can such as depression, illness or even a personality disorder so that their victims will try and understand them better.


The above are just a few examples of “any old label” will do when it comes to a psychopaths behaviour but the bottom line is when it comes to accountability and why people do what they do its the one thing that is missing especially in the case of Woman C. Courts never take this into account when passing sentence why an offender did what they did. When they pass sentence they dont get a higher sentence for intentionally and knowingly going out to con people but they may get a lessor sentence if they have something like bi-polar.  She will soon be facing her abuser in court who will no doubt give an excellent plausible explanation to the jury as to why he managed to con her over a period of 1 year and if he is clever enough get himself a lessor sentence based solely on the wrong diagnosis.


Using a label such as bi-polar, ADD, schizophrenia, passive aggresive behaviour or even narcissm is far more pallitable to the general population than saying I am a psychopath. Even the word sociopath has a more gentle ring to it which is why I prefer to use the word psychopath. It implies that a sociopath is more acceptable and yet their behaviour is no different from a psychopath in many respects. We might as well just call themselves Lumberjacks for all the education there is out there.  Worst still for those of us who have been victims and decide to pursue psychology in our efforts to understand these insiduous individuals psychology degrees don't even cover personality disorders.  Ironically most people dont realise is that therapy only works for neurotics and if it wasn't for personality disordered individuals like psychopaths and those with narcissisitic personality disorder there wouldn't be a need for therapy at all! (See In Sheeps Clothing)


Sadly, this does nothing to help victims get real justice and nothing whatsoever to help real people who have genuine disorders like bi-polar, ADD or any other disorder who do possess a conscience thus leaving the psychopath to continue to feel so invincible they think they can use whatever label they like as any excuse to get off scot free.